The San Diego Padres have reached an agreement with shortstop Xander Bogaerts, According to John Heyman of the New York Post. Bogaerts, who walked away from the last three years and $60 million left on his Red Sox contract after the season, will sign an 11-year, $280 million agreement. The exact structure of the deal has not yet been revealed. But MLB Network’s John Morosi reports The deal does not contain any opt-outs. It does, however, feature non-trade protection.
Bogaerts turned 30 in October and was the oldest big name free agent in the offseason (also Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson and Trea Turner, who signed earlier this week with the Philadelphia Phillies). 307/.377/.456 in 2022, though he fell to 15 home runs after averaging 29.7 homers per 162 games in 2018-21. The strength decline has been mitigated by an improved defense. Bogart is rated very good in this field in 2022.
And the third best short stop available after Correa and Turner. Here is his writing:
Bogaerts is Max Martin of shortstops, a consistent hitmaker with a sparkling trophy case. In each of the past five seasons, he has appeared in at least 84 percent of his team’s games and has produced an OPS+ north of 125. He can bat for average, he can walk, and he often hits for power. This season has proven to be an exception to that last note, though a late May collision with Alex Verdugo resulting in wrist and shoulder discomfort may have been to blame. Defensively, Bogart has been a few years away from shortstop for ten years now. Statcast data confirms that he still lacks top speed or arm strength relative to his peers. It’s not easy convincing a major league team that you’re capable of playing in the Six for that long unless you do Something truly. Even if the next employer asks Bogaerts to move elsewhere, give him credit for the hard work he put into improving his defense. Do note that Bogaerts opted out of his contract with three years and $60 million left, suggesting he’s looking to improve AAV’s $20 million. It should be easy.
Bogaerts has taken advantage of Fenway Park nooks and crannies over the years, hitting .312/.375/.497 at home and .271/.338/.420 on the road in his career. 424 batting average on balls while on the ground in 2022, well above his career average (. 333) and league average (. 302). Some regression is likely going on there, which makes it important that Bogart rediscover his strength.
Bogaerts is supposed to play a spot at Padres Stadium, though that will be exact. San Diego has a number of talented players, including Fernando Tatis Jr. (likely to move onto the field after missing the entire 2022 campaign due to a combination of injuries and suspensions), Manny Machado (locked in at third), Ha-Seong Kim ( A good shortstop), and Jake Cronworth (formerly anchored at second base). Theoretically, the addition of the Bogarts could allow the Padres to trade one of those players to help out in rotations or move one to first base (Will Myers, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury are all either free agents or have already signed with another team). Still, again, things are and will likely remain in flux for the Padres until spring training arrives. At a minimum, they have options.
The Padres had previously hit runs on Trea Turner and Aaron Judge, failing both. However, General Manager AJ Preller is never afraid to make a splash. So Bogaerts became the latest in his group of added superstars, joining Machado, Juan Soto, Josh Hader, Yu Darvish, and others.:
The Padres are now looking to have $184.2 million on the books for 2023 after accounting for arbitration and pre-arbitration salaries, as estimated by baseball-reference.com. Spinning depth seems more important than adding another star, but it’s possible they could do it with Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, Nick Martinez, Adrian Morjon, Julio Teheran, and more (Ryan Weathers bounce back?).
It should be noted that the Padres’ signature of Bogaerts means Boston Red Sox, his former team, are now sure to look for a new pitstop of their own. That could make the Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson lottery even more exciting to watch unfold.
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